A race that celebrates the 100th anniversary of White Rock Lake, which has been central to this Texas city both as a water source and as a "home course" of sorts for the runners who would eventually form the Dallas Running Club, the White Rock Lake Centennial Half Marathon is a one-time event that takes the place this year of the Dallas White Rock & Roll race, a 5- and 10-mile run that takes place here each May.
As in the White Rock & Roll race, runners will start the Centennial Half on the shores of White Rock Lake at the area known as Winfrey Point, which overlooks the lake just off East Lawther Drive, in White Rock East Park. From there, runners will make their way around the lake's shoreline, first heading northeast from the point along East Lawther toward the park's Bath House Cultural Center, where they turn right immediately after passing the center onto Northcliff Drive, and then again onto Lake Highlands Drive.
Runners next follow Lake Highlands Drive as it loops southward along the edge of the park up to Tiffany Way, where they turn right and then re-join East Lawther for a brief, roughly mile-long stretch that brings them back toward Winfrey Point and past the starting line. There, runners pass the start and then head onto the path that winds around the circumference of the lake, following the loop route in a clockwise direction around the entire lake, all the way around back to Winfrey Point for the race finish.
The history of both the lake and the Dallas Running Club has played an important role in this year's White Lake Centennial Half, as the lake has been a part of many major events that have impacted the nation through the 20th century, from the opening of the lake in 1911 as a water reservoir for the growing city to the construction of Winfrey Point by the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps to its role as a recruiting station and boot camp for soldiers during World War II.
It wasn't until the late 1960s that the lake became a popular spot for running -- in fact, because the city of Dallas didn't allow running on city streets in those days, runners out for a jog at White Rock Lake could be ticketed by the police. However, that later changed with the founding of the Cross Country Club of Dallas, which later became the Dallas Running Club, and the popularization of running later in the 1970s and 80s.
Weather & Climate
Springtime in the Dallas area typically brings mild to warm and occasionally hot weather, and also usually brings the area's wettest weather of the year. In May, the city's average monthly temperatures range between 84°F and 65°F -- on the day of the race (May 7), the average high is 81°F and the average low is 62°F -- while rainfall totals average aboput 5.3 inches for the month.
$60 for the half marathon, for Dallas Running Club members
$70 for non-members
To reserve your spot in the spring 2011 running of Dallas's White Rock Lake Centennial Half Marathon, register online at the event website.
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